Building on a successful report on the safety of shopping carts, a team lead by social media expert Kelby Carr will focus on other investigations using a network of mom bloggers. This cadre of Internet users is among the most connected and active, sharing stories and information virally. Led by two part-time workers, the network will help crowdsource stories. Carr, who also runs the Type-A Mom forum and conference, has been named one of the most influential women in social media.
The Investigative Mommy Blogger project’s mission is reviving investigative journalism, but also evolving it. Since receiving the funding, the site produced investigative reports, tips on investigative blogging and curation of news of interest to moms.
Investigative Mommy Blogger successes:
• Produced an investigative piece that highlighted the extreme health issues of restaurant children’s meals.
• Produced several posts with tips for investigative blogging.
• Produced months of curated news of interest to moms (with posts every weekday during that period).
• Raised awareness of investigative blogging among moms who blog.
• Built a following of 85 feed subscribers, 180 Twitter followers and 210 Facebook fans.
• Attracted 5,000 visitors for 10,000 page views.
Investigative Mommy Blogger challenges:
• By far the biggest challenge was finding bloggers with journalism experience to write investigative pieces. In fact, there were about 10 writers who agreed to write investigative posts and none of ...
Investigative Mommy Blogger is getting into a steady rhythm of producing content and increasing readership. We have breaking news posts six days per week from two writers that were hired. The investigative piece on children’s meals at popular chain restaurants, which received several comments and hundreds of page views.
Awareness of the site is also increasing, with the typical traffic increasing from about 300 page views a month to more than a thousand a month.
I also held a promotion to build awareness with mom bloggers at my Type-A Parent site. My main goal was to build email feed subscribers to generate some return traffic from readers who get the daily news in their inbox, as well as boosting Investigative Mommy Blogger’s numbers on social networking sites. Here are some of the increases due to the promotion:
- Email feed subscribers increased from 24 to 104
- Facebook page likes increased from 90 to 175
- Twitter followers ...
Things have been gaining momentum with Investigative Mommy Blogger. I now have three bloggers hired, and just posted an investigative piece, “The Truth About Chain Restaurant Children’s Meals.” The post has gotten a lot of attention, including 24 tweets with the link on Twitter and 25 Facebook shares. The tweets included some great recommendations to read the piece, such as “Wow! Eye opening!” “Just read!” and “An absolute must read!”
We were struggling a bit with Jen Lee Reeves and I doing this part-time and trying to balance short posts with investigations, so I hired two “breaking news bloggers.” Their responsibility is posting curated breaking news of interest to moms. This is now giving us not only daily posts in the breaking news area, but also frees Jen and I to focus exclusively on investigations. With the addition of the new bloggers, Amanda Henson and Dianna Brodine, we have ...
In the first weeks of the Investigative Mommy Blogger project, I have been most focused on finding a perfect team. I am looking for investigative bloggers who strike a balance of both a full range of traditional investigative reporting experience and time spent immersed in mom blogging.
I have hired one investigative blogger who is a perfect blend of both worlds. Jen Reeves started as a local newscast producer in 1995. She produced at KBAK-TV (Bakersfield, CA), KSBW-TV (Salinas, CA) and WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids, MI) before worked as the Executive Producer at KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. KOMU-TV is owned by the University of Missouri and Reeves is also an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Five years ago, Reeves transitioned from traditional newscast management to creating a position where she oversees the newsroom’s online content and social media.
As new media director, Reeves ...